Okay, that definitely was a provocative title.
Sorry for that.
But is it actually possible to find the best customer retention strategy ever?
I would say: no, yet yes.
No – Because we have to deal with different fields, different customers and different businesses.
There is no way to avoid them; we will certainly find these big obstacles on our path.
On the other hand, big companies’ strategies have already been published by researchers.
Although they’re not infallible, they do work. But first of all, let’s start by explaining what customer
retention actually means.
Leaving technical explanations to Wikipedia, in my vision customer retention is the Holy Grail of success. According to Bain&Company’s research, a 5% increase in customer retention leads to more than a 25% increase in profits.
Wait, wait… WHAT?!
Yes, you read that right. The reason why this happens is very simple, people tend to buy
more from a given company as time passes by.
Not to mention, the likelihood an existing customer will become a repeat customer is 60%-70%,
whereas the new lead’s one is between 5% and 20%.
I find it hard to believe that some companies spend their whole budget in acquiring new customers.
Now, don’t get me wrong: customer acquisition is crucial if you want to dominate the marketplace. But don’t take your existing customers for granted.
You should be pushing to acquire new customers as much as you do to retain old ones.
Customers like to feel special and unique. Reserve them good offers, and send them a sales letter writing something about their very journey in your company.
Nowadays it’s very simple to get your customer’s data.
Take notes of what their favourite product is, observe their behaviour by using analytics, look at
what remained in their cart. Go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of your customers.
Another essential element is your audience’s engagement: people want to match a brand to a
voice. Use social media to be that voice, express your opinion and engage with your audience.
Define your buyer’s persona and write about subjects it could find interesting.
If you don’t know how to achieve that, just have a look at Oreo’s Facebook page and GoPro’s one. They’ve been engaging with their customers at a master level for a few years now.
So, you’re probably thinking: “hmm, maybe retaining customers is worth my interest”.
If so, I have another tip for you.
It might seem kind of unsporting, but your customers’ satisfaction has to be your top priority.
One of my mentors used to say: if it works, then it’s not wrong.
Set your customer expectations lower than what you can provide them with. Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services meet or surpass customer expectations, so what would it happen if a company lowered expectations of its service/product before the purchase?
You don’t have to cheat your clients, just don’t unveil them how awesome your service/product
actually is. They will discover it on their own, and that’s the exact moment they will be flocking back to your shop en masse.
So that’s it.
Successful brands master these strategies and find them indispensable.
But let’s get back to the first question of this article for a second.
Is it possible to find the best customer retention strategy ever?
I would say: no, yet yes.
I was about to say goodbye without explaining why I answered (also) yes.
Well, what I meant by “no, yet yes” is that it’s unlikely that we’ll find the best strategy ever (which
even sounds silly), but by reverting the question we’ll find our best strategy ever when it comes to
The best strategy ever is changing your mindset.
Instead of focusing all efforts on acquiring new customers, just split them in 50% on acquiring customers and 50% on retaining customers.
Considering that existing customers have already expressed an interest in your product/service,
and are still engaging with the brand, it will be way easier to capitalise on their experience with the
A Squared Online speaker once told me: “bear in mind that if businesses tried to keep customers
as hard as they try to acquire them, they would be in a much, much better place”.
He was definitely right.